Crêpe Crawl! On the Trail of Westchester’s Top Crêpes
Finding the best in the county. Plus: The world's largest beer store arrives in Westchester; Susan Lawrence farm table dinner; truffle-infused Hummus
Craving a crêpe? It's not usually the first (or even the second) thing that comes to mind when assessing food options, but start reading the menu and you're hooked. This overlooked alternative can make lunch or brunch feel like a treat, and we have many great crêpes to choose from—not all created equal.
Yogurt Le Crêpe
Tarrytown—The number of frozen yogurt stores is actually beginning to scare me. But this sunny one hedges its bets nicely with a few griddles and many crêpes, savory (made with buckwheat) and sweet. Look for crêpes that take on American classics, such as tuna melt, Buffalo chicken, s’mores, bananas Foster, and kids’ grilled cheese. On a cold morning, I enjoyed a bacon, egg, and cheese crêpe and the friendly service along with it.
Harrison—In what looks like the set of An American in Paris, crêpes are the star: delicate, stretchy, folded so many times that you just know you're eating them the way they should be eaten. Don't miss the toque-clad crêpe master by the window, ladling batter onto four big griddles. The cinnamon baked apple with granola and dried cranberries, and the turkey, spinach, and fontina, showed that as much care is taken with fillings; the PB&J someone recommended didn’t disappoint. (And for the annals of repurposed crêpes: baked crêpe crisps, sprinkled with Parmesan and pepper and served with homemade spreads.)
Greenwich—Here’s where to have your crêpe piled high with salad, at this vibrant spot filled with chitchat and the whir of juice machines. Choices include a very fresh “shrimp salad” (mesclun, boiled shrimp, avocado, asparagus, sprouts, cilantro, homemade ginger dressing) and grilled chicken with ratatouille. There’s a crêpe under there—organic, buckwheat, slightly crisp at the edges. Crêpes are also cut into seafood spring rolls and served over salad, or made as pizza-like oversize crêpes. Cheers for a pepper grinder and sea salt on each table. If you want sweet, you’ll be happy to see, in addition to thicker dessert crêpes with homemade ice cream, six different crêpes flambés: liquor! fire! Just make sure to put it out.
Mount Kisco—Part of a row of connected “Littles”—Little Kebab Station (Indian food), Little Spice Bazaar (juices, lassis, chats, whole spices)—this Little is in a unique position to offer not only classic crêpes but fantastic ones with chicken tikka masala, and mango purée, whipped cream, and fresh mint. The Middle Eastern arugula salad and hummus crêpe is another nice choice, and there’s also a Tex Mex. Vegans, get your crêpes here: there’s gluten-free vegan lentil, in addition to original, buckwheat, and gluten-free rice/lentil.
Peekskill…—This hip hangout in a historic “Flatiron Building,” where you might sit at anything from a Pepto-Bismol pink kitchen set to an old school desk, is the only crêperie with live music and an open mic. If you’re into trivia nights, you can even earn a free point for your team with every crêpe purchase. (Is that fair, I ask?) I enjoyed my American Pie crêpe, with cooked green apples, the crunch of walnuts, and vanilla ice cream, but ultimately was jealous of my friend’s prosciutto, fig, and goat cheese, which he found kind of salty but I would get again in a heartbeat. Another excuse to drive up to Peekskill.
Larchmont—At this European-style café that expanded from an excellent, tiny cheese shop, try crêpes with cheese: delicious Brie with chopped fresh herbs, sliced apples, and balsamic glaze, or Madrange ham and Gruyère with a runny egg. Crêpes are on the spongier side, with traditional sweet and savory fillings. A popular brunch scene can translate into a wait, but meanwhile you can shop for cheese, charcuterie, pastry, candy, and gourmet drinks.
Dobbs Ferry—Don’t let the wiry furniture here fool you—satisfying crêpes are being slung. The native French owners, who started by selling crêpes at farmers’ markets, use many locally sourced ingredients, which is amply rewarded in taste. The fresh mozzarella, roasted cherry tomato, and pesto crêpe I intended to finish at home didn’t make it out of the car; other choices include chicken sausage, spinach, and crème fraîche, crêpes with homemade jam, and a crisper, almost pastry-like chocolate sauce with sliced almonds. Beverages are lovely: fresh juices (such as a watermelon/honeydew/pear/lime refresher), organic coffee, a few well-chosen teas, and the namesake grenadine (berry syrup) mixed with sparkling water.
You heard me. The world's largest beer selection is now at your doorstep, Westchester! Poughkeepsie's Half Time opened a second, larger location in Mamaroneck—and you could practically land a plane in the aisle. Once you recover from deer-in-the-headlights, you'll notice 22 craft beers on tap, with growlers available even down to a little 16-oz size. Or grab a six-pack holder and get six different bottles (your assignment: find the ones with the strangest names). "Thousands of beers, 700 breweries, 60 countries, and 90 styles" await, with full lines from many breweries, and a friendly staff to get you started ("rinse your growler with hot water—no soap—leave the cap off"). Delve into intriguing regional brews (Great Lakes, which they drive 8 hours to pick up, Goose Island Bourbon County Barleywine, Cooperstown Brewing, Lake Placid) and international bottles (New Zealand’s Moa wheat-and-cherry breakfast beer, paper-wrapped Belgian ale), some of which reside in the world's largest fridge case half the size of a football field, including a section of 5-liter kegs. Oh, keep going—now you're among the glassware, gift baskets, books, home brewing supplies, and snacks, with more to come. We can look forward to tastings, classes, and other events; meanwhile, anticipate an official grand opening sometime before the Super Bowl.
Susan Lawrence Farm Table Dinner
January 25, 7:30 pm
$125 plus tax and tip
Susan Lawrence gourmet store, café, and caterer in Chappaqua offers the latest in a series of Farm Table Dinners inspired by Chef Mark Kramer’s travels and Hudson Valley finds. Five courses with sommelier wine pairings will be served at their antique farm tables—and you never know who’ll be seated to your right or left, with events often including surprise guests and entertainment. Check out the following menu, which sounds very nice indeed. For reservations, call 914-238-8833 ext. 204.
Chicken & waffles
Buttermilk fried chicken, corn flour scallion waffles & sausage gravy
Leeks en cocotte with smoked trout
Fresh chive vinaigrette & olive oil ‘caviar’
Spaghetti squash ‘Carbonara’
House-made pepperoncino pork Belly, celery root frittelle & chervil oil
Braised veal shank with truffle sauce
Potato skin goat cheese galette
Parmesan monkey bread
Honey poached apricots, mascarpone cheese torte, pistachios & saffron kadaif
Double chocolate ganache sandwich cookies
Served in Chocolate Leaf Bowls
Chappaqua roast coffee & harney teas
Truffle-Infused Hummus at Taiim Falafel Shack
Champagne wishes and caviar dreams? Would you settle for hummus—infused with white truffle oil? This BOW winner known for exceptional falafel is ever expanding its hummus selection, and we’re finding them in new places, such as the Mamaroneck winter indoor farmers' market on Saturdays, and Mrs. Green’s in Hartsdale, Tarrytown, and Mount Kisco. The full lineup includes balsamic crema, fava bean, a refreshing and not-too-spicy wasabi ginger, and saffron, whose delicate flavor shines through. But the truffle-infused variety? Hummus never had it so good.